Robert Butts, Conducting


The Woman Who Wrote a Wonderful Romantic Piano Concerto at Age 14

Sunday, August 18th, 2019, 3:00

Grace Episcopal Church, 4 Madison Ave., Madison, NJ


Clara Schumann is one of the most famous women in the music world. She was one of the first superstar international touring artists, playing piano in concert halls across Europe.

She was famous as the muse of both her husband Robert and her friend Johannes Brahms. She was a leading editor of many volumes of published collections. And last but not least, she was in fact a child prodigy.

But, Clara Schumann — nee Clara Wieck — was also a very gifted composer. She wrote a passionate romantic Piano Concerto at the age of only 14! She performed it with the famous Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra at the age of 16 with Felix Mendelssohn conducting!

Clara also wrote many songs and a fair amount of chamber music. Her talents and creativity were admired by all the leading composers and artists of the Romantic era. The influential violinist and friend Joseph Joachim performed her three Romances for violin and piano and declared them a “marvelous, heavenly pleasure.”

We'll be performing her PIano Concerto in A Minor, a rarely performed piece in modern times, at our Summer Festival Finale on August 18th. Please come join us on that date. Pianist Victoria Griswold will be the guest soloist with the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey at 3:00 at the Grace Episcopal Church.

Victoria Griswold is a classical pianist who has concertized in Europe, Brazil and throughout the New York metropolitan area. At her debut recital in New York City, The New York Times reviewer characterized her as “an elegant pianist.” She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Manhattan School of Music. Her principal teachers include Jeaneane Dowis, Zenon Fishbein, and William Nelson. She has recorded new works by the American composer William Thomas McKinley with such orchestras as the Warsaw Philharmonic; the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. She is currently working on a recording of piano music by women composers.

An active and versatile pianist, she has performed as soloist, chamber musician, vocal accompanist, pianist and Music Director for professional musical theatre productions, Music Director and harpsichordist for Ars Musica Antiqua, an early music ensemble, and as church organist. She also served as staff accompanist at Jersey City State College for six years.

Ms. Griswold taught piano for 30 years in her private studio, and has adjudicated for many young people’s competitions and auditions sponsored by such organizations as the New Jersey Symphony, the Summit Symphony, the Livingston Symphony, the Music Educators Association of New Jersey, the Andrew DeGrado Foundation; and the New Jersey Music Teachers Association.

Victoria Griswold was also the owner of the Plainfield (NJ) Music store, a retail establishment specializing in printed music.